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View Full Version : Luck factor? 9 Ball vs 8 Ball



KellyStick
02-18-2010, 07:29 PM
I read somewhere that the luck factor in 8 ball was much higher than in 9 ball and so therefore 9 ball was a better game of skill. In my opinion, and the way I play 8 ball, I think the luck factor is greater in 9 ball than in 8 ball. I am much more experienced in 8 ball so maybe that makes a difference.

Waddya think.

Rich R.
02-18-2010, 09:03 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KellyStick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I read somewhere that the luck factor in 8 ball was much higher than in 9 ball and so therefore 9 ball was a better game of skill. In my opinion, and the way I play 8 ball, I think the luck factor is greater in 9 ball than in 8 ball. I am much more experienced in 8 ball so maybe that makes a difference.

Waddya think. </div></div>
The luck factor between 8 ball and 9 ball can vary depending on what set of rules you are using. Many people play 8 ball as a call your shot game which would reduce the luck factor. Other than that, both games requie good shot making skills and position play. I don't believe either has a higher luck factor than the other.

IMHO, there are varying degrees of luck involved in all pool games and all other sports for that matter. It's just part of the game.

Pask
02-19-2010, 02:41 AM
As it is said, regarding 9-ball, in the begining of The Color Of Money, luck does exist and to play well, you have to deal with it. I guess this can be applied to any other pool game, including 8-ball too.

To my mind, both games have quite the same luck rate. There are no call shots at 9-ball, which at first sight looks like a game with a greater matter of chance, especially for beginners or casual players. In fact - and that's what I understand in the introduction of Scorcese's movie - luck is a kind of illusion - and that may be why 9-ball is so much played by hustlers. 9-ball requires good technique regarding cue-ball control, long-range position play, many obstacles to avoid, a lot of safety play sometimes, long-distance shots with more angles, and maybe more pressure as you must run out if you don't want the oponent to win just by making only one ball for instance. It also looks easier for beginners because it looks like you don't have to think about choosing the right series of shots, as it is a rotation game. But actually, you must deal with a plan of attack, and the right one because of rotation. That's why cue ball control is very important there. Opposite to 8-ball, where you can sometimes have many solutions leading to the run-out, at 9 ball, you have less options, or even just one right plan, if you want to win. However, angle is more important than CB-OB distance in most shots at 9-ball. And very often, a bigger margin of error can be allowed for position, whereas at 8-ball you have to deal with lighter strokes, and position play in specific zones, so you should then have to position the cue ball at the best place, with less margin of errors. But at 9-ball you don't call shots, so sometimes you can have keep playing after making a supplementary ball by luck or banking after a 2-rail contact instead of one etc. So luck is there, but I think that, because of the technique this game require, luck is for good players only : if you're not good, you will stay on your chair anyway...

8-ball requires as much technique as 9-ball, but in a different way. It looks like luck factor is less important, because it's a call-shot game, but luck is there too. For instance, compared to 9-ball, you have the choice, most of the time : you can have many options for your plan of attack when planning after break shot for instance, or you can also have what I call 'spare wheels', that is to say shots you have planned in case you ever miss the best position, of if the opponent has moved balls on the table in his previous shot etc. However, as for 9-ball - and any other pool game I guess - luck will always be on the good players' side.

My conculsion would be that it's better not to think about luck. Play without counting on it, play to run out each time you are on the table, and do your best to stick to a plan of attack, whatever the game. If you start thinking about luck, you may have some, but you'll quickly realize that if you do this way, the opponent and especially a good player will look like he's got more luck than you... /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/wink.gif Also, if you or your opponent has luck on a shot, don't blame it, just because this factor is part of the game : it's never really cool to deal with luck on the opponent's side, but you're always happy to have some when it comes to you. /forums/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif

Fran Crimi
02-19-2010, 07:19 AM
Where did you read that?

bradb
02-19-2010, 04:27 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: KellyStick</div><div class="ubbcode-body">I read somewhere that the luck factor in 8 ball was much higher than in 9 ball and so therefore 9 ball was a better game of skill. In my opinion, and the way I play 8 ball, I think the luck factor is greater in 9 ball than in 8 ball. I am much more experienced in 8 ball so maybe that makes a difference.

Waddya think. </div></div>

Agreed. Although over a long series the luck evens out. But in a double knock out theres some luck needed

I find 9ball more of a skill game, but you can win it (or lose) without hardly even shooting....

I lost to a player in a 9ball tournament when he fluked the 9 on the break first game. I ran to the 9 on the second and scratched. He fluked the 9 on the break again third game.... I'm out of the tournament!

-Brad

doncartmill
02-19-2010, 08:19 PM
When you are good, you are good and playing position on balls in rotation is not a problem. If ,however ,you step down several skill levels,where precise position play is not the norm,then you have to consider that,in 8 ball, if my shot for position on the 3 ball should roll too far,I may have a good shot on the 7 ball instead,and a chance to get back in alignment. That the very first shot I take,I am presented with several options for my run out attempt. I can select an easy shot,one that allows easy control of the cue ball to my next shot with a back up shot if my position is not precise. When you are talking about very high skill levels,where pocketing balls and getting position is second nature,all games are easy and luck is just luck of the draw. It is only when you start discussing medium skill levels that you can appreciate where skill leaves off and luck takes over. Break and run in medium skill players ,I would guess /willing to bet actually, is probably 10 to 1; 8 ball vs 9 ball ( have nothing to back this up,but recalling my own progress over the years )

Bambu
02-19-2010, 10:38 PM
Its tough to compare because it's a different type of luck with 8 ball. Most important to me is the luck of the layout after the break. Its tough to win with a couple of isolated clusters.

In 9 ball, its more about who benefits most from lucky shots and safeties. If I had to choose one, I'd say 9 ball is less lucky in general...mostly because there isnt much room for lucky position.

KellyStick
02-20-2010, 05:08 PM
Fran, not sure where I read that. I think On-line somewhere but I just don't recall. Sounds like most folks are saying not to rely on luck. I'm for that. Though occasionally.... occasionally.. the Slamma Jamma or other style luck shot is worth a try. Not to often but sometimes the odds favor the attempt at luck

Fran Crimi
02-20-2010, 07:22 PM
I imagine there is a mathematical way to calculate the luck factor to a reasonable degree in a particular game, but I don't know how to do it. I do however, think that luck is proprtionately (or somewhat proportionally) related to the players skill level, regardless of the game. The more skilled the players in the game are, the less possibilities there are for luck to play a role.

Frab

doncartmill
02-21-2010, 12:10 AM
What I was trying to say ,is that for the pro, luck is something that happens very infrequently. The framer of the original question is probably many skill levels below that of a pro. When he plays 8 ball as opposed to 9 ball, a shot that is NOT executed as precisely as desired, may still leave the shooter with more than two options ( in 9 ball he would have two; try to make the ball or to play safe). In 8 ball he can do a 180 and choose a different path for his run out or safety. I think his question was really , "for the semi skilled,which is the more forgiving game." and I say 8 ball 10 to 1

Soflasnapper
02-23-2010, 10:15 AM
Two quotes I personally heard for your consideration:

"Let's face it-- at our level, 8-ball is a joke." Tony Robles, about 3 years ago when the IPT was still on-going

"This game [9-ball] is all luck." an embittered Earl Strickland after elimination from the US Open a few years back